Friday, February 06, 2009

Rock-N-Roll Babies

If you follow this blog, then you will likely know that I have been doing some reading lately on how music affects the brain. Recently, a study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It discussed the newborn brain in relationship to music. I am pasting an interesting excerpt below. You can read the whole article here.

Newborns can't exactly swing their hips to prove they can jive, so Winkler and his colleague Henkjan Honing of the University of Amsterdam monitored the brains of 14 infants listening to variations of a rock rhythm — complete with drum, snare and high hat cymbal.
When "metrically-unimportant portions" of the beat were silenced, nothing much changed among the auditory-related activity in the brain, Honing said. But when the rhythm was disturbed, particularly by omitting the downbeat, the infant brain responded with an error signal: An expectation for a rhythmic pattern was not met.
"A baby's auditory system is working the same way as an adult's, in that it is always making predictions," Winkler said. If the prediction is incorrect, an error signal helps gauge "how much you are off the actual target," he said.

The study went on to state the infants as young as 5 months were able to distinguish rhythmic input. What a great opportunity to interact and bond with your young child! It's just one more reason that Kindermusik is the single best choice for enhancing your child's development.

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